Do you ever read a book and marvel at how well its written, how well its researched and just how eloquently the story works? But then absolutely hate the characters?
I so want to love Aurora, I really do… But I just can’t get along with it. I learnt so much whilst reading this book in areas I barely knew existed. Zoology, micro and island biology, sociology, Newtonian physics and various other fields that don’t often crop up in your usual fiction novel.
Aurora is the tale of Freya, born into the seventh generation of an unnamed generation ship. A generation ship is exactly what it says on the tin, the first generation boards the ship and after a lot of bird and bee action an entirely different generation steps off the ship when they arrive. The story starts with Freya’s mother Devi telling the ships AI to keep a log of the following years till landfall on the planet Aurora, humanity’s new home. The ship as a narrator begins by logging everything from actions to heart rate, but slowly throughout the book becomes more eloquent and a far better storyteller. Where by the end it might well as have been written from a persons perspective. The parts of the book not narrated by Ship are by Freya, starting when she is fourteen and ending somewhere in her forties. This is one of the things I disagreed with in the book. Unlike others who skip large periods of time in their novels I feel that very little was done to make me truly care for Freya. Not to say all characters are as abrasive as Freya, I was a big fan of Devi, the resentful and angry mother who becomes one of the integral members of the crew. I feel that I could truly emphasise with her motivations and problems.
I’m not trying to dissuade people from reading this book. Anyone who wants to learn random scientific trivia should undoubtedly read this. Things such as criticisms of the Turing Test and the need of bromine in farming pop up. Or just watch QI for random facts that lodge themselves in the back of your head, I digress…
It may be that I’m simply one of those few out there who doesn’t enjoy this book, everyone else whose reviewed it seems to have. But when you’re willing a book to finish fifty pages before it does you have to seriously question whether a word count had to be reached or if there was some editor hoping to make friends. In my mind at least.
But if the things listed above interest you then go for it.